Hello loves! It's been ages, but I promise there's been a good reason! This year has been a wonderful messy amalgamation of projects and plans that have completely bogged me down. But it's a great problem to have so I can't complain.
As you might remember, last year I was named as the inaugural fellow for Bitch Media's Writing Fellowship in Pop Culture. Additionally, I'm a month out from the due date of my dissertation for my MA in Mass Communications. All that's on top of my day job! Unfortunately that meant my blog has been a little neglected of late, but it doesn't mean I haven't been writing and reading and learning. I've published some essays I'm very proud of with Bitch Media, and there are more on the way.
"Racebending rebooted franchises allows us to add diverse perspectives to the existing canon of culturally significant narratives, present minority characters in a way that better reflects our varied experiences, and escape the material dangers that a single story can present."-Reboot and Rally: The Revolutionary Opportunities Inherent In Reupping Franchise Favourites
To hear pop culture tell it, no man has ever unabashedly loved a Black woman without "taming her" first. It's significant to have a Black woman who embraces her inner "savage" be acknowledged as the prize that she is: beautiful, successful, ambitious and not at all in search of a partner.
-Performance Anxiety: Why I'm Here To Watch Drake Worship Rihanna
While Wiley is right that art reflects life and vice versa, she skipped an essential step: Art is meant not just to reflect life, but to comment on it. To distill a universal truth about the mundane lives we live and supply us with a greater understanding of ourselves. The artist’s responsibility is not simply to reproduce the violence that exists, but to deconstruct it. What did this season of OITNB add to the conversation about police brutality that hadn’t already been said? How was this plotline any different from a simple reproduction of Black trauma?-On "Orange Is The New Black" and the Destruction of The Black Body
I often say, pop culture is a feedback loop that is both sustained by and contributes to the ways we see ourselves as a society and in relation to each other, so it’s frightening to know that at a cultural level, Black women are considered inconsequential, that our stories exist as incidental to those of white men and women. As Mary McNamara wrote at the Los Angeles Times, “These characters should not be used as seasoning or garland to give a white man’s story a little spice, a little color. They should be telling their stories too, in ways that don’t call for the ultimate sacrifice quite so often.” Television’s boast of increased diversity is meaningless if its stories reinforce the trope that Black female characters are expendable. -When Visibility Isn't Enough: Abigail Mills and the Failed Promised of "Sleepy Hollow"
I have two more wonderful essays in the pipeline and a magazine feature for Bitch Magazine about performative misandry in online feminist spaces (hence Beyoncé.) In a month I'll have graduated and be free to finally start my secret project that I won't divulge here in case I change my mind. This year has been hectic and stressful but I've gotten to write about things that I'm passionate about and be guided by wonderful editors who helped make me a better writer. I'm excited for what 2017 will bring for me, but honestly I'm just trying to get through 2016! I'm so grateful that even though I haven't posted in months, people are still here everyday reading the things I've written and finding value in my work. It's part of what gives me the confidence to pursue my writing professionally. Onward to the new year!